Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Another Take on the Christmas Tree/Menorah Debacle  0

Posted on December 22nd, 2006. About News and Politics, Ramblings.

You may recall my recent post on Christmas trees being removed from the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. My take on this issue had been – why remove the Christmas trees when the Jewish rabbi wanted a Menorah placed next to them? Why not just put the Menorah up rather than overreacting?

Since then, two interesting points have been raised:

A) Many argue that the Christmas tree is a secular symbol as many non-Christians place them in their homes this time of the year. I have spoken with several Jewish people who have informed me that they do not see the Christmas tree as a religious object. Nativity scenes, yes. Christmas trees, no – just cute objects to enjoy. I agree, and still believe the Sea-Tac Airport should not have removed the trees.

B) Perhaps the Menorah should not have been added, because unlike the Christmas tree, it is a religious symbol. Furthermore, one of my Jewish colleagues suggested to me yesterday that he would be offended if a Menorah were displayed in an area of prominence, because there are holidays sacred to him – Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Passover. To create a demonstration over Hanukkah would be to assign artificial significance to a holiday that he claims many in the Jewish community do not consider to be significant. I won’t comment further (Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry can make Jewish jokes because he’s Jewish, but can’t make jokes about dentists because he doesn’t belong to their group? And he’s labelled as an anti-dentite for doing so?), not being Jewish, but it is an interesting point.

I lack a particularly thoughtful conclusion to this post, other than: green trees are nifty, let’s keep them around, and I advocate the fake tree so we don’t have to cut down the real ones only to throw them away a month later. Another post for another day!

Carbon Monoxide Madness, and Thoughts on Electricity  0

Posted on December 19th, 2006. About News and Politics, Ramblings.

Ever since a dramatic storm blew through Seattle last week and over a million area residents lost electricity, there have been a steady stream of those with carbon monoxide poisoning coming through the Harborview ER. People – mostly immigrants new to the area – have been bringing coal-burning grills and generators into their apartments and garages, and then they are found later with various symptoms – anything from nausea/vomiting and headache to paralysis and respiratory failure. They are usually then brought to Harborview, and then the ER physicians send them to Virginia Mason Medical Center down the street to be treated in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The rule of thumb is that if someone arrives not requiring mechanical ventilation to breathe, then he will survive.

There has been tons of media coverage about the dangers of burning charcoal indoors or using generators in garages, but the irony is that those without electricity will not see the media coverage. Even the national media has begun covering this – such as here. Last night while I was on call there were two more cases, one of which required an ICU admission and the other which was discharged from the hospital. At least the numbers are decreasing from what they were over the weekend.

The heating issue aside, Evan and I were amazed at how absolutely dependent we are on electricity. Food in the fridge spoils, the oven and microwave are off limits, and of course – no television or internet. It’s dark by 4:30 in the afternoon, so then the challenge is finding a place with power or running down the flashlights trying to read. The traffic lights were out, so many of the intersections were chaos in action. Because no one could cook, the restaurants that did actually have electricity had waits of over an hour by 4 in the afternoon. Schools were closed. Many businesses were closed; even Microsoft lost electricity. I was concerned about looting, but fortunately there was not so much, although someone did crack the screen of the ATM across the street trying to rob it. A woman in our building was stuck in the electrically-powered elevator when the power failed. Seattle newspapers could not be printed because the presses stopped, literally. Because the gasoline pumps at the stations lost power, those that had functioning pumps were basically raided by eager customers and ran out of gas. We actually did not go to a Christmas party across town because we did not know what our gas situation would be. There are just so many things taken for granted with electricity – society, at least in a city, comes to a stand still without it.

Baby – Week 10  0

Posted on December 18th, 2006. About Baby Dodds.

As I’m nearing the end of the first trimester, I am feeling much better. The queasiness disappeared this week and now I’m able to eat well again. Sweet!!! While others do not notice so much, I am starting “to show” as well. This came a little earlier than expected, but I’m delighted by it – evidence of a baby in there.

I found this image today of a fetal ultrasound at ten weeks gestation – he/she is just hanging from the uterine wall, floating, with nowhere to go and nothing to do but grow! I think it’s rather cute.

Pregnancy-10us

Our own ultrasound occurs at the end of the month, which we very much anticipate. In the meantime, Baby Dodds has already received quite a few Christmas gifts this year, despite his/her unborn status. I can only imagine what next year will be like… Many thanks to everyone who has been so generous during this special time.

Here we go again…  0

Posted on December 12th, 2006. About News and Politics, Ramblings.

I’m too unimpassioned and not surprised to write a full diatribe on this one (because I’m so tired of making the same points), but here goes:

http://www.horsesass.org/?p=2304

Basically, another evangelical leader of a large congregation announced he was homosexual and has resigned his post. It gives me fodder for reiterating the following:

1. Homosexuality is not a choice, just as heterosexuality was not a choice for most of us.
2. Becoming an evangelical minister will not make homosexuality disappear.
3. Telling homosexuals they are hell-bound and refusing them the basic rights allowed to heterosexual couples will not make one’s own homosexuality go away.
4. If you’re gay, God knows it.
5. It doesn’t matter if you used the methamphetamine you purchased or not – a man, evangelical or not, who regularly has sex with another man, is probably gay.
6. Having homosexual sex for years, secretly or not, whether you have a wife and kids or not, even if your partner was paid, still means that you’re gay. Sorry.

When are the right-wing holier-than-thous going to learn the true meaning of compassionate conservatism? Jesus consistently demonstrated compassion towards everyone he met – if evangelical leaders truly strive to be Christlike, then why aren’t they striving to do the same thing?

O Christmas Tree, Where Art Thou?  2

Posted on December 10th, 2006. About News and Politics, Ramblings.

While Evan was reading the local newspaper this morning, he brought to my attention the fact that all of the Christmas trees at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were removed after a rabbi was threatening to sue if a menorah was not placed in the airport as well. The final decision – to take down the trees. The rabbi who threatened the suit was not pleased with this decision. Neither am I.

Now I see that it’s a national news story. Come on! We are not exactly the most religious of all couples, but there is something special about this time of the year, and our tree is up, complete with lights and ornaments (and yes, presents at the base). It reminds me of being a kid, and feeling excited about the upcoming holiday! And seeing my grandparents and cousins! I really wish the airport had been sensitive enough to add a Menorah to become more inclusive of other groups rather than removing all of the Christmas trees. Seattle is a very culturally diverse city, and it irritates me that they would not celebrate this.

Anyway, here is our tree! I call him my Charlie Brown tree – he’s short, but cute and needs love.

PC100063

Baby on the Way!  1

Posted on December 10th, 2006. About Baby Dodds.

We are officially ready to announce our happy news – Evan and I are expecting a baby in July 2007.  Our first OB appointment was last week, and were told that all looks good so far. Our families know, as do many of our close friends. I told the neurology department this week, the members of whom have offered support and congratulations. Here’s to the next phase of life!

Oh, and here’s approximately what our baby should look like, if we could photograph it:

8wk-1-5

He/she is the length of a cherry, or so the sources tell me!

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